Lessons from Lockdowns

by | May 14, 2024 | Blog Articles, Covid-19, Economy, Finance, Florida, New York, USA

Much will be debated in the years to come about the efficacy of lockdowns, travel restrictions, vaccine passports, and other steps put in place to combat COVID-19. Evidence continues to mount showing these measures were largely ineffective in achieving their objectives, and that they created devastating externalities and unintended consequences. Lockdowns and related measures are now a historical fact, with enough time having passed to evaluate questions such as: What did we learn? What changed in society as a result?

For knowledge workers, offices became irrelevant overnight, upending nearly a century of tradition and customs. A new era of remote work that only a few futurists imagined was suddenly ushered in. Former office workers became fully aware of how their one to two hours a day commutes were robbing them of their most precious commodity, time. It turned out that many could be as or more productive without having to leave their families and their homes day after day. At the same time, skyscrapers, office parks, and center of urban areas generally became redundant. Commercial real estate values were negatively impacted, indeed, cut in half in some major cities such as New York and San Francisco.

Residents of those and other large cities began to ask hard questions, and reconsider previously unchallenged assumptions, such as, why am I living in a city (and a state) that demands of me an additional 10 to 15 percent in income taxes? Why are the public services those taxes are expected to fund suddenly being cut? Why are these taxes being used to shelter and provide for masses of illegal immigrants who have never paid into the system? Why do I no longer feel safe in the street or on public transportation? Why do I continue to be restricted to my apartment or home long after the rest of the country has opened up?

What resulted was a shift in economic vitality from places like New York and California to Florida, Texas, and others. Formerly great cities may continue to suffer a slow decline from the ongoing bleeding out of their tax revenue base and resulting deterioration of services and infrastructure. Old real estate fortunes will be lost, and new ones made elsewhere. The center of political, demographic, and economic gravity will continue to migrate towards jurisdictions that still uphold the values of a free America.

We were reminded of the Biblical truth that, “it is not good for man to be alone.” The mental health consequences of prolonged physical and emotion isolation negatively impacted the lives of more people than the virus itself. Unlike the virus, which mainly targeted the elderly and already sick, loneliness and despair affected young and old alike. Drug overdoses, especially Fentanyl, became one of the leading causes of death, killing a record over 110,000 Americans in a twelve-month period. Alcohol and drugs, video games, Netflix and porn, all equally proved to be cruel friends and false comforts to a species designed to live in fellowship and physical proximity with others. We must never forget that free Americans were prohibited from attending churches and synagogues and many other forms of community life that, as it turns out, are absolutely necessary for human thriving.

Lockdowns did little to achieve better health outcomes, but substantially hurt both economic and educational performance. States that opened early showed no negative impact on mortality and other health measures relative to those states that didn’t. But importantly, states that abandoned lockdowns early demonstrated statistically significant superior outcomes in both economic performance (e.g., GDP growth, employment) and educational development (e.g. test scores) compared with those that didn’t.

Parents learned, in many cases for the first time, what was actually being taught to their children in their schools. For many parents, it was a shocking revelation to understand that school was no longer primarily about reading, writing, and arithmetic, let alone training up good future citizens, but about indoctrinating a specific political, social, and sexual worldview, which taken collectively was designed to undermine the former ideals of the nation, which had been rooted in traditional values such as religious faith, family, and patriotism. Fortunately, this awakening has led to substantially greater participation by parents in their children’s education, and the upending of many hidden power structures dedicated to a progressive and Marxist ‘Woke’ agenda.

By shutting down thousands of local and family owned small businesses, and suffocating others with unending and impossible to follow red-tape—while major corporations continued to operate as before—government leaders demonstrated to many small business owners and entrepreneurs that the deck was stacked against them. The moneyed interests would always win, and the system was corrupt. Bankrupted and devastated to the point of despair, an entire generation of entrepreneurs may never have opportunity to start again.

What the American people saw in their children’s schools, what they heard their political leaders say and watched them do, and how they were repeatedly gaslighted and lied to about so many things by these same leaders and the media that parroted them, ranging from the origins of the virus to the efficacy of masks and lockdowns, to the safety of vaccines, has resulted in a sea change in Americans’ attitudes towards the so-called elite. Americans no longer trust their political leaders, their experts, professors and teachers, their media, or their public institutions. A state of trustlessness is unhealthy over the long term. Yet today it is absolutely necessary in order to bring about the institutional and cultural change required if America has any hope for its future as a strong and independent nation, and as a home of free citizens. This process needs to run its course and result in a complete overhaul of our institutions, a reformation of the values of our society, and a restoration of a culture of We the People.

At a minimum, this lack of trust implies that future leaders should think carefully before attempting to repeat the tyrannical actions that were undertaken during this time. Americans were willing to comply once, and got badly burned by it. The next attempt at Communist-style authoritarian control is likely to be met with much stiffer resistance from the tens of millions of ordinary Americans who just wants to be left alone, free from government intervention, and with the liberty and human dignity they need to make a living, provide for their families, and ensure that their children can grow up free, thoughtful, and prosperous, and not as mindless and dependent wards of a socialist state.

Read this article on The Epoch Times

The Epoch Times Copyright © 2024 The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.

If you enjoy stormwall.com and want to support our efforts at independent, objective and uncensored analysis and commentary, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution.

Proceeds are used to help offset website support and maintenance, social media promotion and other administrative costs.